Base Running Tips for Youth Baseball Coaches
By Chip Lemin
Battle Stations base running drill
Divide your team in half as equally as possible and assemble
two lines at home plate, one line slightly ahead and inside the other. Now have a coach on the pitcher's mound give a command
for the lead runner in both lines to take off. . One runs straight through first base as if they are beating out a groundball,
the other makes a turn and continues into second. At the next command, the drill continues in the same manner but the runner
on second now rounds third and scores while the runner on first takes third. Now you have bases loaded on every cycle of this
drill .It goes on with the runner on third tagging up and scoring. Two runners will now score each time the bats are hit together.
Players go to the end of the opposite line when they score and bases remain loaded continuously.
It's a much more instructional drill than having the players
continually circle the bases, and give every player a chance to perform just about all the situations they will see in a game.
Coaches can check for base running technique, how they are rounding the bags etc...It help players get into baseball shape
which it more short quick bursts of energy needed. You can help players learn to get good jumps and to anticipate when to
This drill should be done at the end of practice, because
the players will be pretty tired after. End the drill when you can see they have had enough and are starting to get sloppy
Study the pitcher drill
Align all players on the first base foul line, in the outfield.
The line becomes the base. Somewhere near the infield dirt, near where the second baseman would play. On second base two out
lead, delay steal, etc.). Other coaches should be positioned to watch players and make corrections.
Spend 5-10 minutes of every practice on this. We also spent
at least 5 minutes before every game on this drill.
This drill is usually done with the entire team. Splitting
up the team prevents players from just copying what the others are doing. This forces them to focus more and actually retain
more of your coaching.
This not a long drill, just a quick refresher on studying
the pitchers foot work to determine whether or not to dive back, go back standing, or just move back toward base. Just assume
that it is 1st base we are working on. You can add 2nd or 3rd base if you want.
Split your players up into as small of groups as you can,
depending on the current situation at practice or pre-game. Use the outfield foul or any kind of line, depending if you are
indoors or not. A coach acts as the pitcher. All players should have a good view. The coach should alternate between right-hander,
left-hander, stretch, windup, stepping off the rubber, and picks. Players are given a scenario before every pitch (on first
base straight steal, on first base hit and run, etc... Players assume the correct position, take a proper lead, and react
according to the play called and the movement of the pitcher.
When it is a team drill, have other coaches watching players,
don't let players take this drill lightly, base running blunders can blow up promising innings
Off to the races drill
This is another fun way to end practice with a base running
drill kids will like. Split the team in half, with one group of kids behind home plate and other half behind second. Just
don't have them all run the bases together, there's not much being learned that way. Turn it into a relay race with baseballs
as the batons being passed from runner to runner. Give the first kid of each group a ball (this will be the "baton" for the
relay race). At "GO!" the first kid from each team begins running the bases, ball in hand. After making a complete lap around
the bases (back to each kid's starting point) that kid hands the ball off to the next kid in line, who continues the relay
race. Try to have coaches at the bases encouraging proper turns and foot work. First group of kids to finish the race wins.
They will not want practice to be over most of the time. Kids love to compete, and when you can use contests to help you teach,
it's always more effective.
About Coach Chip
Hello My name is Chip Lemin. I'm a long time
youth baseball coach who loves to promote this great game of youth baseball. Promoting sportsmanship in this game of youth
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course will help to organize practices like an elite coach. How to motivate players and other coaches with your positive attitude.
It really is not very hard to be a great coach when you know what to do.Best of all you will learn how to have fun with these
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